cover image Master Class: Living Longer, Stronger, and Happier

Master Class: Living Longer, Stronger, and Happier

Peter Spiers. Hachette/Center Street, $24.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-892-96891-6

Retirement-aged baby boomers get schooled in achieving the “Master Way of Life” by balancing four key dimensions—socializing, moving, thinking, and creating. Posed as a “road map for the next phase of your life,” this model curriculum offers a holistic approach to blending these four dimensions through 31 engaging—and realistic—activities (e.g., participating in a book club, dancing, educational travel). Senior v-p of the nonprofit Road Scholar organization, Spiers thoroughly explains how each activity embodies the four key elements and offers ways to get “extra credit” by making the most out of each activity, such as recording your travels through a diary, photos, or blog. Charts and exercises assist in advancing participants through four syllabi, culminating in eventual graduation to the “Master Class.” The book’s curriculum format, though gimmicky at times, is always constructive and instructive. But the highest grade goes to the commentary of numerous Masters, scattered throughout each section, which emphasize how certain activities have enriched their lives. According to Spiers, the goal of the program is to lead a life of “happiness, optimism, and physical and cognitive health.” Or as one Master remarks in reference to writing: “The rewards are in the activity.” (June)